Death Knell for Jim Balsillie ???

This sounds as though it could be the death knell for Jim Balsillie.

I've just heard on the radio that another group, with supposedly a BILLION dollars at its disposal, is interested in bringing hockey to southern Ontario.

Sounds like this could play into Gary Bettman's hands perfectly.

He awards a new franchise to this new mystery group that will play a second team out of Toronto, or somewheres in the GTA.

That shuts out Balsillie (and Hamilton) forever, the NHL gets the expansion fees, Buffalo would probably survive, and he saves face as he didn't allow the Coyotes to move.

There's nothing on yet....but this is from the National Post

Mystery group touts NHL expansion for Toronto, claims $1-billion in war chest
June 04, 2009, 12:40 PM by Sean Fitz-Gerald

A mysterious group claiming to have $1-billion in private financing has scheduled a media conference for Friday morning to announce a “vision? for a National Hockey League expansion team in Toronto, touting a plan that has been in the works for five years.

In an ambitious media release issued Thursday, the group promises to discuss arena plans, as well as a team name and jersey. It is not known whether the group is the same one that met with NHL officials earlier this year to discuss plans for placing a team in the Toronto suburb of Vaughan.

According to the media release, the announcement Friday will also honour “Canadian heroes while supporting cancer research, national scholarships and children's charities.?

The notion of a second team in Southern Ontario has been popularized by the bankruptcy proceedings in an Arizona court, where Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie is engaged in a war with the NHL to relocate the Phoenix Coyotes to Hamilton. Balsillie tendered an offer of US$212.5-million to buy the team last month, after owner Jerry Moyes filed the team for bankruptcy.

The NHL has protested, and all sides are scheduled to meet in front of Judge Redfield T. Baum again on Tuesday, in Phoenix.

“It’s a completely separate item,? a spokesperson for the new group said Thursday. “It’s about an expansion team. It has nothing to do with any type of relocation of that nature. And it’s for the 2012-13 season.?


Well, as long as the NHL treats owners of sinking clubs in the south like they have with Moyes, I think the guy with $2 billion+ we've been watching over the last few years will still be in the mix.

June 9 will be a key test. It's June 4. Let's see on June 10 what the fallout will be. The antitrust law that will emanate from this and likely future challenges will shape how the NHL deals with ownership and relocation factors.

P.S. There is a BIG thread ongoing on the hockey issues at viewtopic.php?f=5&t=37341 :wink:

Oski Wee Wee,

Even if the "law" sides with JB, the League will draw it out in court.

In the meantime, if they expidite a second team for Toronto, that effective kills off Hamilton for good.

As far as Phoenix goes, perhaps they should be awarded a CFL team instead. the latest poll shows 3% of of that city citing CFL football as their favorite sport, while only 8% of Hamiltonians admitted such.

I don't know what the population difference is, but the CFL could possibly have more supporters in Phoenix than in Hamilton.

And, no...there's nothing wrong with two threads on the subject...yeesh!

NFL (football) 53%
Major League Baseball 45%
NBA (basketball) 44%
NCAA football 25%
NCAA basketball 24%
NHL (hockey) 20%
CFL (football) 3%

  • Asked which sports they follow

NHL (hockey) 58%
Major League Baseball 14%
NFL (football) 11%
CFL (football) 8%
NBA (basketball) 5%
NCAA football 2%
NCAA basketball 2%

  • Asked their favourite sport


The "death knell" for this expansion idea is this.. you CANNOT expand at a time when you have 6 or more franchises bleeding money like it's an arterial cut AND the NHL will NOT expand by only 1 team.. and I've not heard of any other rich guys out there willing to fork over the 300-400 million to purchase the 2nd expansion team

There are many more NHL franchises that have the potential to move. It makes you wonder how these teams survive.
I was in St Louis last January, the company I was visiting had a private box and they took us out to the Blues game. The arena was fantastic and the private box was pure luxury - inside seats and theatre seats outside. The only problem was that at that height and that far from the ice surface it is impossible to see the puck. The only way you knew there was a goal was the horns and red lights.

But what struck me was the lack of excitement at the game. First of all entire sections at either end behind the goals were completely empty and the upper decks were almost empty. It was like going to an AHL game, we estimated that the attendance was around 6,000, but the next day in the paper the announced crow was 13,000!!

I don't know who owns the Blues it must be another multi-millionaire who is willing to lose a lot of money.

But HTD, you're being too logical. LMAO This is the NHL. :wink:

No, the bleeding will continue, the recess/depression factors in this October on NHL revenue sources, and a sure bet is that even before 2012-13 rolls around for the Vaughan Mirage, you will have at least one team to sell to...guess?

The financial picture that the NHL will face by this time next year will be much different. That is clear.

Will Bettman be around in 2012-13? Or will the fecal matter be blasted from the fan enough for him to survive this? Is Bill Daly in play then?

The two-team expansion is necessary in part to get the geographical alignment right with the conferences so Detroit and Columbus can get into the East (hopefully). As HTD states, the issue of where the next set of deep pockets would come from is interesting to ponder. KC has an NHL-ready arena, Vegas doesn't.


You also have the issue of how you build a Vaughan arena in MLSE territory. I don't see Tannenbaum et al. getting warm and fuzzy just because it would sit in the GTA proper. Indemnification fee? Larry mused it would be $800 million for a Hamilton team if a price had to be put. Perhaps Vaughan will get the $1 discount.

Oski Wee Wee,

Stillbirth for Vaughan? Case in point.

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Oski Wee Wee,

Well I can honestly say MLSE is pushing fans away.. I for one am ready to jump ship whether Hamilton gets a team or not, they are friggen idiots.. they seem to think they own the world... this is going to get messy

Here is a link to an article by Sean Fitz-gerald of CanWest News Service today about Andrew Lopez, the spokesperson for the group proposing to bring an NHL expansion franchise to Toronto, as well as some of the basic concepts of the group. The names of the actual investors are not identified in the article. The press conference will be held tomorrow.

[url=] ... ories.atom[/url]

Show_me, just to be more precise, those numbers from the polls you mention as published in the Spectator includes as mentioned in the story "for the purposes of the survey, the Hamilton area includes Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Waterloo, Kitchener and Guelph." Which helps explain the low figure for the CFL.

At any rate, I'm so sick of this Phoenix talk and moving, thank god we have our TiCats and an owner who loves the CFL! Canada's league, not some American controlled cartel run out of New York and Toronto.

In a way, this has the stench of Gary Bettman all over it but on 5:30 on CHCH, the sports "expert" (Howard ?) thought such a Toronto-based group would be worse for MLSE than one based in Hamilton (a new arena in TO syphoning off ACC events and $$$).

The suggestion was that Balsillie might end up with a new, unexpected ally in MLSE, as MLSE would rather have a team (and arena), if it's inevitable for Southern Ontario, down the highway at some distance instead of in it's own backyard.

If Bettman isn't involved, if he and the NHL were upset about Balsillie pre-selling tickets (re Nashville), wonder how they feel about his new group going as far as designing team jerseys.

Pretty pathetic for this group to pull on heart strings with it's supposed "Mom & apple pie" profits-to-charity and medical research tactic... "will also honour "Canadian heroes while supporting cancer research, national scholarships and children's charities." "

I mean, what Scrooge could possibly turn that philanthropic group down? (gag)


Guy sounds a little nuts....he admits he doesn't have the money. I can't believe that people are falling for this. :roll:

I caught on with the word "mystery"...


Yeah, this seems like a joke that's going nowhere to me. Give it a couple days...this will die like that other Vaughan proposal.

No need to fold up the tents yet...I'm hoping that this entire process (whether we get the team or not) starts to erode some of the inferiority complex I find in many of my Hammertown comrades. The fight's still on -- when you get hit, you hit back don't throw in the towel.


Am I the only person who doesn't care whether we get an NHL team here?? The odds of us getting a team are pretty slim. I gave up on believing in that myth quite some time ago.

The only thing that bores me about hockey at the moment is the Stanley Cup finals. Yawn and 3/4. After over 100 games, we're back to the exact two teams as last year battling it out. It wasn't even a good series the first time around, now we have to sit through it again. 2-2 Ugh....

Wow!!! What a cynical, manipulative and well thought out scheme to win the hearts and minds (and support) of just about everyone (except MLSE) . Brilliant!

This so-called "legacy" project tugs at the heart strings and sentiments of just about everyone and makes anyone who objects seem a cold-hearted monster by catering to...

  • charitable groups and non-profit organizations

  • warm & fuzzy slogan "let's just share with our city, share with our country"

  • presenting a black hockey player

  • poor Joe Blow hockey fan who can't afford a ticket

previous suggestions of links to...

  • the armed forces and veterans

  • cancer patients thru tie-in with Terry Fox

  • medical research and children

Who can say no to that?

Only thing missing is the Mother Teresa Coffee Shop & Orphanage and Mahatma Gandhi Veggie Cafe & Meditation Garden.

And the person putting up the billon dollars, Wasn't this Lopez dude on Dancing with the Stars?

I have to say I'm glad to see this proposal. It's great to see a group come forward that's willing to put up hundreds of millions of dollars to get an NHL franchise and build an arena. Hopefully they will get the Coyotes without paying the hundred million or so for an expansion franchise. A second team in Toronto financed all through private money is good for the league and lets us taxpayers off.

The Hamilton proposal with Basilly is all about taxpayers coming up with $150 million plus. I don't think that the taxpayers outside of Hamilton should be paying for the Coyote transfer.
Maybe sometime in the future someone will step forward with their own money to bring a team to Hamilton and pay for an upgrade to Copps or build their own arena. There are a lot of teams in trouble so it may happen in a few years.